Manchester piccadilly Gardens at chritmas

How not to go shopping in Manchester

On the 13th December, Friday the 13th to be exact. Me and the better half traveled down, or across to Manchester from Newcastle, by train. To see the Manchester Christmas markets and a shopping trip weekend. That journey on paper takes 2 and a half hours. But in reality it’s more like 5. I’m use to these long journeys, however my fiance isn’t. Turns out she’s not a fan. Which I should of prepared for, I take full responsibility for the headache she gave me on the journey. I made sure we was better prepared for the trip back, with colouring books, pens, food and a travel pillow. No I’m not engaged to a 12yr old my fiance is 31.

Colouring in a frozen 2 poster
Colouring in a frozen 2 poster, happy fiance

Arriving in manchester

With the train we had booked, we should of made it into Manchester with about an hour to spare before the Christmas markets closed. However 2 hours into the journey, the train got delayed by 30 minutes. So that messed up that plan, we did however make time to get into primark. 15 minutes before they closed at 9pm. Which pleased my 12yr old. 31 Yr old fiance, who somehow managed to purchase quite abit of stuff, and that was just items picked up from the que.

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We then headed on over to the hotel, motel one royal exchange. Which was in a perfect location for what we had planned. The markets at Albert Hall are just to the left of it and the Arndale centre to the right. The room in the hotel was just what we needed. It had a bed and a bathroom, nothing fancy but still really nice.

Motel one standard double room
Motel one standard double room

With us both starving from not eating much all day, we went for a walk to see what we could find. At 10pm there wasn’t many options, so we decided to go to burger King. Which happens to be right next to primark. Neither of us drink alcahol, so being the only sober customers in BK, it was easy to get served. After eating our meals we went back to motel one and called it a night.

Shopping in Manchester

Central perk manchester

The big shopping day had arrived, we both woke up at 7am and got ready to be in primark for 8am when it opened. I would highly advise getting there for that time as no-one is around, it’s great. Central perk, the friends cafe was open so we had a couple of coffees before starting the primark haul my fiance had planned. Not much was bought really, they had plenty of plaid shirts, we bought one. Kinda cool as it’s a zip up multi coloured plaid shirt. I think it was £8, not a bad price. The total price for the 2 hour haul only came to £150 surprisingly, after the cheap shopping haul we decided to eat.

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We ended up in the arndale centre nandos which again was empty, I thought it was closed. We were just extremely early, it must of opened at 11am. If you’re interested I had half a medium spice chicken, spicy rice and corn on the cob. My fiance had half a plain chicken, nandos salty chips and coleslaw. Both were awesome as allways, can’t beat abit nandos.

After that that we headed over to build a bear and got a sloth Teddy made, with a matching miniature sloth. My fiance has a weird sloth fetish, and seen on youtube that they now do sloths, thanks to loey lane.

Killing time

My dad, who we were meeting that day. Had us booked in a restaurant for 4pm so the next few hours were spent walking around the arndale centre at looking at different ships. I recommend visiting simply iconic, that place is a fan boy/girls dream. Especially if you like signed merchandise, in the entrance they have del boys three wheeler. Although I’m not sure if it was the real one, it still looked cool.

Simply iconic manchester arndale centre
Simply iconic manchester arndale centre

I thought I’d show my lady the arndale indoor market, really cheap stuff. You could end up spending a fortune on studded gothic style ankle boots,there was so many to choose from and all of them were pretty inexpensive. But we didn’t buy any instead my fiance got her bridge repierced which looks great. So the tattooist in the arndale centre market is good for piercings, £20 with bar included.

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Time to meet Dad

Time really did fly by walking around all day, which isn’t advisable in Dr marten boots, So sore. But we met my Dad and his missus and went for a curry at zook, which was really nice food, I had buttered chicken. 10/10 not spicy and very tasty.

Manchester piccadilly Gardens at chritmas
Manchester piccadilly Gardens at christmas

Christmas Market time, I’ll never know why I allways head to Albert Hall for the markets. Its so extremely busy, you literally can’t move, it’s not enjoyable. So after finally getting out the huge crowd we went to the smaller markets which was alot better, there still wasn’t alot of stuff bought, if anything. Walking around already and getting up early we was both tired so we went back and went to sleep.

Going back home

Forgetting it was Sunday and the shops don’t start opening till 11 we got woke up early. Trying to make the most of the final few hours we had. We still didn’t get much done, we had a coffee in Costa, walked around Manchester back streets for abit, then ended up back in primark for 11. I bought a beanie and we got our 13yr old daughter a load of friends clothing, she’s obsessed and her birthdays in January.

Then it was time to go home, not much of a Manchester shopping trip really. It was a nice day away with the Mrs. But to go shopping in Manchester you need more than one day. If we ever decide to try again, which I don’t think will be via train, we’ll be staying longer and buying more.

If you want to avoid the high streets yourself you can visit the store here.

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